Greenland Gaining Ice Mass

Every once in a while, some actual science occurs in the climate community.

Ice core data are combined with RACMO2 regional climate model (RCM) output (1958-2010) to develop a reconstruction of the Greenland ice sheet net snow accumulation rate (Ât(G)) spanning years 1600-2009. Regression parameters from RCM output regressed on 86 ice cores are used with available cores in a given year resulting in the reconstructed values. Each core site’s residual variance is used to inversely weight the cores’ respective contributions. The interannual amplitude of the reconstructed accumulation rate is damped by the regressions and is thus calibrated to match that of the RCM data. Uncertainty and significance of changes is measured using statistical models.

We find a 12% or 86 Gt y-1 increase in ice sheet accumulation rate from the end of the Little Ice Age in ~1840 to the last decade of the reconstruction. This 1840-1996 trend is 30% higher than that of 1600-2009, suggesting an accelerating accumulation rate. The correlation of Ât(G) with the average surface air temperature in the Northern Hemisphere(SATNHt) remains positive through time, while the correlation of Ât(G) with local near-surface air temperatures or North Atlantic sea surface temperatures is inconsistent, suggesting a hemispheric-scale climate connection. We find an annual sensitivity of Ât(G) to SATNHt of 6.8% K-1 or 51 Gt K-1.

The reconstuction, Ât(G), correlates consistently highly with the North Atlantic Oscillation index. Yet, at the 11-year time scale, the sign of this correlation flips four times in the 1870-2005 period.

AMS Journals Online – Greenland ice sheet mass balance reconstruction. Part I: net snow accumulation (1600-2009)

h/t to Joe D’Aleo

This should be obvious, but common sense is normally not permitted in climate science.

ScreenHunter_150 Dec. 05 10.45

World War II Planes Found in Greenland In Ice 260 Feet Deep

World War II Planes Found in Greenland In Ice 260 Feet Deep – New York Times


About Tony Heller

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11 Responses to Greenland Gaining Ice Mass

  1. A C Osborn says:

    The planes were so hot they melted there way to 260ft under the surface.

  2. Andy DC says:

    I thought 2 hours of +2 heat melted the entire ice cap. Or at least 97%.

  3. “…the sign of this correlation flips four times in the 1870-2005 period…”


  4. Billy Liar says:

    The recent Shepherd et al paper ( gives a figure of 142±49 GT/yr as the 1992-2011 rate of Greenland ice loss. So if the ice loss increased by 86 GT/yr since about ~1840 we are now possibly only 7 GT/yr down on the ~1840 rate of ice loss from Greenland after a 40% increase in CO2.

    Summit Camp Golf can look forward to a loooong future as a premier resort!

  5. It’s also worth noting that if this theoretical modelling was true, we can also expect declines in sea level.

    It’s a mystery to me why journals publish theoretical models. You can invent an infinite number of theoretical models. So what? Until the journals call for a higher publication standard, climate science will remain a junk science field.

  6. John B., M.D. says:

    Question. If both Antarctica and Greenland are gaining ice, and Arctic sea ice melting/refreezing doesn’t affect sea level, then what is the source for the slightly rising sea level? All due to thermal expansion?

    • miked1947 says:

      With the current state of science regarding global sea level, there is equal chance the sea level has changed by increased height or decreased height relative to shore lines.
      This is one of those cases where they are talking out of their posterior orifices and claiming they know what they have no clue about.
      Science is the ability to speculate about all the things a person is clueless about.

  7. MFKBoulder says:

    The paper discussed deals with the snow accumulation (in the accumulation area).
    For the overall mass balance you should wait until Part III is published.
    “Greenland ice sheet mass balance reconstruction. Part III: Marine ice loss and total mass balance (1840-2010),”
    is published.

    I know it is not so easy to understand glacier and ice sheet dynamics.
    Steven, go to CU, they had good classes on these issues at my time.

    An on the 50 you owe my (for the arctic ice area bet)
    I want to to donate this to

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